In life there are many missed opportunities and rushed decisions that people who make them regret later. What if? Only if? I sit quietly before the Lord how suddenly I was removed from the house of the Lord. What if? If the elders had called me to discuss matters instead of deciding on their own and basically putting in front of me an ultimatum. Anyone with any self-respect with or without theological qualification or secular experience would have resigned on the spot.I had never been put under such situation and after 45 days I realized people acted out of fear, just like several occasions when churches were ordered to be close even before government mandated it. People also act out of self interest as Jesus said of the Pharisees that they loved money. When one's career or livelihood is put at risk, people invariably act out of self-interest. Who wants to lose his job? Or suffer financial deprivation for some principle only valued by God which the world views with indifference? "What is highly esteemed by men is an abomination to God", as Jesus says in Luke's Gospel. Luke knows well the cost of following Jesus. He was willing to sacrifice his career as a doctor. He followed Paul in his missionary journey. Luke was prepared to bear the cost of associating with Paul, the prisoner. And now what if? If I had been consulted and brought into discussion, I would have suggested several ways that I could continue to serve. First, I even offered some months back to serve as online pastor without pay. Perhaps the elders are so used to paying their pastor that they were surprised by my early offer or perhaps by paying the pastor they thought they could control or tell him what to do. He who pays the piper calls the tune, so goes a saying that most are familiar with. If they had consulted me, I would have advised that I could offer online Bible Study and perhaps preach alternate week online seeing that at least 50 percent of church members are still not attending church face to face but watch online services. I told my congregation in one of my last sermons that Jesus leaves the 99 healthy sheep and goes to seek after one lost sheep. So it must be with us. Just because a big majority gets vaccinated, it does not mean we can neglect the minority whom for one reason or another cannot or would not be vaccinated. As Paul says, circumcision or uncircumcision matters not but the keeping of God's commandments. When we divide and segregate on the basis of vaccination, we sin against the body of Christ, indivisible and united only by faith in Him.
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